A Rainbow Quilt

Awhile ago I made a quilt for my sister who requested a “Rainbow Quilt.”

There were many patterns on the internet to choose from but I decided to make her a quilt which was simple. She chose the fabric and the pattern that I had forwarded to her.

For the back I chose a fabric that had different variations of color.

Rainbow Quilt

It didn’t take me too long to cut the strips and sew them together.

Rainbow Quilt
Rainbow Quilt

She was very pleased with the result.

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Friendly Neighbors

We woke up to about 5 inches of snow today so mid-morning my husband and I headed outdoors in the 15 degree weather to shovel.

After shoveling our driveway and sidewalks I asked my husband if he was up to shoveling the neighbors driveway and sidewalk also. He agreed.

About 45 minutes after we had come inside, we looked out the window to see the neighbor’s son with his snowblower clearing off one small area that we had decided not to do. Had we waited he would have done all of it, but we have no regrets.

Then I received a text from a neighbor two houses down from us and she wanted to drop something off for us and wanted to make sure we were home.

Within minutes she left a large brown bag on the front bench. We waved at her as her young daughter recently was exposed to someone who had Covid so she didn’t want us to chat this time.

Opening the front door I quickly grabbed the bag and brought it indoors. The bag felt warm as I laid it on the kitchen counter.

I opened it and saw it was a loaf of homemade baked bread. Wow! I felt so blessed by this kind gesture of hers.

Homemade Bread

I had planned to make a curry dish for dinner with rice but decided to have this bread instead of rice.

It was delicious!

Vegetarian Curry

Since we moved to a suburb of Illinois a couple years ago we have been blessed with neighbors who shovel our walkways, bring us food and even desserts!

After dinner my husband heard a knock on the door and when he opened it the neighbor whose driveway we shoveled handed him a box and thanked him for shoveling her driveway. She had woken up with a pain in her arm so wasn’t able to go outside.

We were instructed not to open the box until tomorrow …

Hmmm … I wonder what it could be.

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Of Sewing Patterns and Mistakes

So … what a laugh God and I had today.

I decided I was going to teach myself how to make Makena a dress or two. Purchased the pattern and headed to YouTube as its quite complicated for a newbie. (They seem to make lots of assumptions on what one knows …)

Finally got all the pieces cut and headed to the sewing machine. Reading each step several times I started sewing. I was so proud of myself until I made it to step 2 which I’m sure is missing instructions.

After sewing two pieces together I took it off the machine and laughed and laughed as I had sewn the armpit together.

Back to the drawing board …

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How To Respond When Someone Dies

My husband’s mother recently died and, although they were not close, it had an impact on him.

Sadness crept in and a sense of wondering what to do. We had gone to visit her in another state a month earlier as she had started hospice and we knew the end was near.

People who know my husband know he is a quiet and reserved person, so most chose to send him a text and he responded to each one.

But what else can people do when they aren’t sure exactly how to respond when someone dies?

I have five very simple suggestions:

  1. Call them. Instead of texting, which seems to be more common these days, people need to hear the voice of others saying “we heard your mother died, how are you doing?” Allow the person to talk if they have something to say. You can also share a memory of the person if you have one ~ but, if you don’t have a memory to share, it’s okay to have the conversation be short. It’s not about length of time on the phone but more about checking in to let them know you care and are aware of the situation.
  2. Send flowers. I would wait a couple days or even a week or two to send flowers. This shows you have not forgotten that they are going through a time of grieving. We received the bouquet below and it lasted almost two weeks and served as a reminder that we were thought of.
Sympathy Flowers

3. Send a card. My husband received many of his cards 1-2 weeks after his mother died and they are still on display. Again, a reminder that someone thought of him and cared to send a message.

Sympathy Cards

4. Deliver food or have it delivered. I know this sounds strange to some, but we had a cousin send us a delivery from a company called Wolferman’s which included breakfast muffins and a frozen quiche. Every time we have breakfast we think of the thoughtfulness of that cousin.

5. A year later ~ do one of the above. Although the person has been dead for a year the anniversary of a person’s death is fresh in a person’s mind. I have a friend who, 10 years after his wife has died, still grieves for her so I call him on that day and we share memories of her.

Some feel awkward to call or send something, but small kindnesses really help a person who is grieving.

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Of Neighbors and Good Deeds

Have you ever … eaten a crepe cake?

The neighbor across the street from us, who loves to bake, brought two slices over the other day from a cake she had made. It was light and delicious.

The cake is made by making very thin crepes then layering them with “frosting” which was made with very little sugar. Later she brought the recipe over and I must say, it looks like it’s very easy to make. A search on the internet also shows many recipes.

We have very sweet neighbors.

Crepe Cake

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Of Neighbors and Bread

Asian Bread

While making dinner, a knock on the door. Unusual.

Opening the door I find my neighbor from across the street who had stopped to talk with me last week while I was shoveling snow. She left me for a little bit and came back with 1/2 a loaf of homemade pumpkin bread and explained “this is the way we make it.” This time she smiled ear to ear and handed me an aluminum foil covered gift. “A whole loaf of pumpkin bread for you ~ still warm” she said.

Asian Bread

We have some of the best neighbors …

Surely we are blessed!

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Seasons and Life Cycles

Consider this comparison between the seasons and human life cycles:

Spring ~ birth through one’s 20’s

Summer ~ 30’s and 40’s

Autumn ~ 50’s, 60’s and 70’s

Winter ~ 80’s, 90’s and beyond

The problem with this thinking is that we can’t rely on living to a specific age.

The winter of our lives might be in our 20’s. Or even at birth.

When we consider that life is just a “mist” we are able to appreciate people in the present.

The flowers should be sent today. The “thank you” should be mailed or, better yet, call the person. I’m sure they’d love to hear your voice.

Time is shorter than we think. Live now as if it was your last day.

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Yellow Daylilies

We moved into a new house about 8 months ago and weren’t sure what any previous owners may have planted in the yard.

Walking around the property, there was one corner that had a couple bushes but I wasn’t sure what kind they were.

Lo and behold! Yellow daylilies.

A friend of mine has posted pictures of 5 different colored daylilies. I had seen yellow and orange ones but she had one that was salmon colored that was really pretty.

What’s your favorite color of daylily?

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Bee Balm Plant

Pink Bee Balm Plant

Having moved to a new house with a sunny southern exposure, I’ve been on the hunt for plants that will survive full sun.

It’s quite different from the mostly shady acre property where we lived in Minnesota. I’m almost giddy with all the selections I now have.

In Minnesota, we were able to plant bee balm because we had some sun in a corner of our property. Did we attract hummingbirds, bees or butterflies?

We mainly attracted large butterflies and hummingbirds. It was rare when we saw a bee on our mostly shaded lot.

After planting this one bee balm plant, I was surprised that it did so well in its first year.

After being in the ground for about a month, the flowers started withering so I headed online to see if I should “deadhead” them. Deadheading is when you remove the withered flowers so that new buds can grow ~ I usually just use my hands and twist the dead ones off.

Online, this is what I found:

“If you want a bushier plant, pinch off the stem tips as new growth appears in the early spring. In late fall, cut the bee balm down to just a few inches tall. In cold areas, it may die completely to the ground during the winter, but will reappear in the spring.” This was from the “gardening knowhow” website.

Isn’t this one of the prettiest pink bee balms? Next year I’m hoping to plant several of these.

Do you have any bee balm photos you’d like to share?

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